Study Finds Link Between Blue Eyes and Alcoholism

By May Wilkerson 07/02/15

Researchers found that eye color and alcohol dependency share the same genes.

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Are your piercing baby blues the cause of your heavy boozing? Maybe. People with blue eyes could be more likely to become alcoholics, according to a study from the University of Vermont, and the link may be genetic.

Researchers found higher rates of alcohol dependency among European-Americans with light-colored eyes—which includes green, gray, and brown in the center—than those with dark brown eyes. The correlation was especially strong among blue-eyed people.

Though scientists still don’t know exactly why this is, they do know that the genes that determine eye color are found along the same chromosome as genes that have been known to predict alcohol dependency. “This suggests an intriguing possibility—that eye color can be useful in the clinic for alcohol dependence diagnosis,” said lead researcher Arvis Sulovari.

This isn’t the first time science has found a link between eye color and alcohol intake. In a 2000 study of women, those with dark-eyes consumed an average of 4.91 drinks in a month compared to those with light-eyes, who averaged 5.78 drinks.

These most recent findings may offer insight not only into the potential roots of alcoholism, but other psychiatric conditions as well. On the flip side, blue eyes have also been linked to lower pain tolerance and increased ambition.

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May Wilkerson is a writer, comic and Managing Editor @someecards. Co-host of the podcast Crazy; In Bed w/alyssalimp. She is also the top Google result for "insufferable lunatic." Follow this insufferable lunatic on Twitter.